The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Statement on Protecting Elections and Student Voting During the COVID-19 Pandemic
While we do our best to navigate the rapidly-changing COVID-19 pandemic, The Andrew Goodman Foundation remains fully committed to our mission of making young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. This is vital because Coronavirus is having real-time implications on our students’ lives, ability to safely participate in elections, and to be counted in the 2020 Census.
We are proactively pivoting our strategies for getting out the vote while prioritizing safety in some of the following ways:
- Conducting our annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit online in 2020 and ensuring that this convening is accessible to students in our network.
- Monitoring changes/updates at the state or local level to registration or absentee ballot request deadlines, election dates, or polling locations.
- Leveraging social media including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter to get out the vote with friends, family, and fellow students.
- Sharing and institutionalizing digital tools such as our online student voting portal my.VoteEverywhere, SimpleTexting, and TurboVote to educate and support voters online.
- Connecting with campus administrators—such as university presidents, deans of student affairs, or student government presidents—to encourage them to recommit to student voting and enable the institutionalization of digital organizing efforts.
- Identifying and advocating for state-based campaigns such as automatic or online voter registration, deadline extensions, vote by mail, no-excuse absentee voting, less stringent voter ID requirements at the polls, increased early voting periods, and safe, accessible, well-resourced polling locations.
- Finding new ways to engage students in working with their state governments and boards of elections, writing op-eds, increasing the use of social media and other digital marketing tools to communicate up-to-date voting and COVID-19 related information, and condemning racist and xenophobic messaging targeting Asian Americans.
- Pushing for online voter registration, voting by mail, voting at home, extended early voting, polling sites’ health and safety modifications, national standards, comprehensive voter education, and other measures to make our elections safe, fair, just, accessible, and inclusive, and to protect and expand our voting rights.
The well-being of our country depends on our collective ability to fully participate in our democracy. In light of the displacement of college students, classes being held online, campus polling sites closing, and primary elections being rescheduled at the last minute, now more than ever, there is a need to advocate for fair, accessible, inclusive, and most importantly, safe, elections during the primary season and on Election Day.
During this time of uncertainty, The Andrew Goodman Foundation and our national network will work hard to ensure that our democracy continues to flourish. Stay safe and thank you for your continued support.